US court upholds death sentence of Charleston church shooter

US appeals court upholds conviction and death sentence of Dylann Roof, who killed nine Black people at South Carolina church in 2015.

Arutz Sheva Staff ,

Scene of Charleston shooting
Scene of Charleston shooting

A US appeals court on Wednesday upheld the conviction and death sentence of Dylann Roof, the white supremacist who killed nine Black people at a South Carolina church in 2015, court documents cited by Reuters showed.

The three-judge US 4th Circuit Court of Appeals panel issued the ruling against Roof, who argued that he was not competent to stand trial and represent himself and that the US District Court where he was found guilty abused its discretion.

Roof was found guilty in December of 2016 of 33 counts of federal hate crimes and was later sentenced to death.

Roof initially confessed to the June 17, 2015 massacre at Emanuel AME Church in a videotaped interview with federal agents, but later pleaded not guilty in court.

He represented himself in the sentencing proceedings, and presented no evidence and called no witnesses. He seemed to resist his lawyers' recommendations to use psychological incapacity as a defense.